Demonology Warlock Guide for The War Within

Last updated on Jun 10, 2024 at 21:10 by Motoko 43 comments

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on the Demonology Warlock changes in World of Warcraft's latest expansion, "The War Within." This page is designed to help you navigate the new changes, optimize your gameplay, and get the most out of your Demonology Warlock in PvE environments.

In this guide, you'll find detailed breakdowns of the new Hero Talent Trees for Demonology Warlock. We'll explore the most significant updates, and offer insights into how these changes will impact your overall playstyle. Whether you're a veteran Demonology Warlock or new to the class, our goal is to equip you with the knowledge and tools needed to excel in "The War Within."


Demonology Warlock: The War Within Expansion Preview

Welcome to the War Within expansion preview for Demonology Warlock, a resource page where to find changes, Hero talent trees and some initial assessment on the state of the spec.

The purpose of this page is to offer an up-to-date overview of how Demonology Warlock is changing in the forthcoming The War Within expansion, as such, it is not to be treated as a guide or a replacement, since the current state of tuning is not representative of what the final product will be.


The War Within Changes for Demonology Warlock


Core Changes

Demonology Warlock received a whole talent restructure alongside some changes that altered the Class Tree.

Below are the most notable changes:

  • Demonic Circle Icon Demonic Circle is no longer baseline;
  • Demonic Tactics Icon Demonic Tactics is a new output node;
  • Soul Link Icon Soul Link has been consolidated as a 2 points node, removing Profane Bargain Icon Profane Bargain;
  • Inquisitor's Gaze Icon Inquisitor's Gaze and Summon Soulkeeper Icon Summon Soulkeeper node has been replaced by Soul Conduit Icon Soul Conduit at 1 point of effectiveness;
  • likewise Grim Feast Icon Grim Feast has been replaced by a much more appealing node in Pact of Gluttony Icon Pact of Gluttony.

The introduction of Pact of Gluttony Icon Pact of Gluttony specifically has created a new issue in only 1 or 2 floating point to spare after acquiring all 3 capstones and output/stamina/health nodes, with a triage situation occurring with the following nodes: Shadowfury Icon Shadowfury, Demonic Circle Icon Demonic Circle, Fiendish Stride Icon Fiendish Stride, Amplify Curse Icon Amplify Curse and Banish Icon Banish.

As a result the updated class tree pathing has created a restrictive feel, of not being able to talent into several utilities due how taxing the "core" of the tree is, which coupled with the lack of party-wide non-exclusive auras or utility is going to be detrimental in Mythic+ dungeons.

Moving on the Demonology side, the whole tree has been overhauled, with the intention of creating a pathing well-rounded and able to tackle most situations, progressing from a first gate almost devoid of choices towards the third gate which holds most of the options comparatively.

See below a list of the most transformative changes:

  • Vile Fiend Icon Vile Fiend is now 30 seconds cooldown and has been moved down the tree and a capstone instead of being a choice with Soul Strike Icon Soul Strike;
  • Summon Dreadstalkers Icon Summon Dreadstalkers now have a chance to generate a Demonic Core Icon Demonic Core when fading away;
  • Rune of Shadows Icon Rune of Shadows has been introduced as a substantial way to scale Shadow Bolt Icon Shadow Bolt damage;
  • Summon Demonic Tyrant Icon Summon Demonic Tyrant is now a 1minute cooldown baseline and has been moved in the second gate with Reign of Tyranny Icon Reign of Tyranny being a single point investment;
  • Nether Portal Icon Nether Portal and its relative nodes Ner'zhul's Volition Icon Ner'zhul's Volition and Gul'dan's Ambition Icon Gul'dan's Ambition have been removed;
  • Doom Icon Doom has been moved down the tree and reworked entirely to provide AoE damage with additional nodes able to further reduce the cooldown and summon a Shadowbolt casting Doomguard, respectively with Doom Eternal Icon Doom Eternal and Pact of the Ered'ruin Icon Pact of the Ered'ruin;
  • Vile Fiend Icon Vile Fiend being the central option at the third gate offers augmenting talents that alter the visuals and additional behavior of the summon similar to Hounds of Sargeras, with Mark of Shatug Icon Mark of Shatug summoning a GloomHound that deals additional shadow damage single target and Mark of F'harg Icon Mark of F'harg summoning a Charhound that deals constant fire damage around;
  • New talents augmenting Summon Dreadstalkers Icon Summon Dreadstalkers have been added at the third gate: Flametouched Icon Flametouched and The Houndmaster's Gambit Icon The Houndmaster's Gambit.

Overall the Demonology tree design feels more consolidated and focused, more cohesive in its intention of augmenting fewer but more meaningful rotational abilities, and in a way simplify the interactions with the new Hero Trees.

In practice the gameplay does not differ substantially from Dragonflight, before taking Hero Talents into account. On the other hand, cooldown management has been vastly simplified, with all relevant abilities being a multiple of 30 seconds, thus creating a very distinct and fixed cadence. Burst capabilities, especially in AoE, remain high thanks to Implosion Icon Implosion and Grimoire: Felguard Icon Grimoire: Felguard, and the new Doom Icon Doom offers an interactive gameplay element.

The reduction in Demonic Core Icon Demonic Cores did not substantially alter the gameplay feel, mostly thanks to Rune of Shadows Icon Rune of Shadows cast time reduction and Hero trees interacting with either shard generation or discounting shard cost, however it does negatively impact the current Doom Icon Doom implementation.


Hero Talent Trees for Demonology Warlock in The War Within

Hero Talents are perhaps the most notable addition to The War Within, with each spec having access to 2 out of the 3 available for the class. Demonology Warlock in this case can opt between Diabolist and Soul Harvester Hero Talent Trees.


Diabolist Hero Talents for Demonology Warlock

The Diabolist Hero tree is themed around a sequence of Greater Demons that offer temporary effects such as damage amplification, shard generation or a high damage AoE ability before cycling toward the next one.

The playstyle, as such, is influenced by this cadence while not being an interference in the rotation at the same time. What changes the most is the damage profile instead, with Gloom of Nathreza Icon Gloom of Nathreza directly buffing shard spenders, and higher burst capabilities thanks to Ruination Icon Ruination or particularly in Tyrant windows, thanks to Abyssal Dominion Icon Abyssal Dominion.

Regarding defensive options and utility, Soul-Etched Circles Icon Soul-Etched Circles offers a niche use case while Annihilan's Bellow Icon Annihilan's Bellow drastically increases the frequency of use of Howl of Terror Icon Howl of Terror. Infernal Vitality Icon Infernal Vitality and Infernal Bulwark Icon Infernal Bulwark also ties a sustain element to Unending Resolve Icon Unending Resolve which is definitely more enticing than what other Hero Tree currently seem to offer, albeit overall not great.


Soul Harvester Hero Talents for Demonology Warlock

Soul Harvester Hero tree takes a different approach, with a theme-centered around shard cost reduction for spenders, direct damage increase, and additional damage over time in the form of Soul Anathema Icon Soul Anathema.

The synergy with Power Siphon Icon Power Siphon through Necrolyte Teachings Icon Necrolyte Teachings and Sataiel's Ambition Icon Sataiel's Ambition while not being as transformative as it is in Affliction still offers a reliable direct damage increase, particularly with Shadow Bolt Icon Shadow Bolt when talenting Rune of Shadows Icon Rune of Shadows and Sacrificed Souls Icon Sacrificed Souls.

In AoE Mantle of the Harvester Icon Mantle of the Harvester helps providing additional Demonic Core Icon Demonic Core to fuel the damage.

In terms of defensive and utility options, again few improvements in terms of Gorebound Fortitude Icon Gorebound Fortitude offering Soulburn Icon Soulburn Healthstone Icon Healthstones at no additional shard cost, and Friends In Dark Places Icon Friends In Dark Places giving an additional 25% to the baseline absorb value of Dark Pact Icon Dark Pact. Eternal Servitude Icon Eternal Servitude on the other hand enable a more frequent pet swapping/resummoning as a quality-of-life change, with the alternative of an improved combat ress in Gorefiend's Resolve Icon Gorefiend's Resolve similar to other classes.


Demonology Warlock Tier Set in The War Within

Season 1 Tier Set Bonuses for Demonology Warlock in The War Within are the following:.

  • Warlock Demonology 11.0 Class Set 2pc Icon Warlock Demonology 11.0 Class Set 2pc — Your primary demon deals 5% increased damage, and your Shadow Bolt Icon Shadow Bolt damage is increased by 50%.
  • Warlock Demonology 11.0 Class Set 4pc Icon Warlock Demonology 11.0 Class Set 4pcShadow Bolt Icon Shadow Bolt has a chance to enrage your primary Felguard, increasing the damage of their next Legion Strike Icon Legion Strike by 300%.

Both set bonuses offer a talent-agnostic passive damage increase, as intended in their design, with neither suffering from target count or encounter timing, and instead offering consistency first and foremost.

Worth noting that the 2 pieces set bonus will be less effective in AoE due a comparatively lower amount of Shadow Bolt Icon Shadow Bolt casts compared to single target scenarios.

How Good is the Demonology Warlock Tier Bonus in The War Within?

If tuned following the general goal of providing between 10 to 15% increase with the 2 and 4 pieces together, Demonology tier set has a wide practicality, and should perform well in any end-game situation.


Demonology Warlock Strengths and Weaknesses

Strengths icon Strengths
  • +More intuitive gameplay with faster cooldown loops
  • +Efficient cleave damage
  • +Very high AoE burst with enough resources
Weaknesses icon Weaknesses
  • -Faster cooldown loops means more frequent setups which are a vulnerable timeframe for Demonology
  • -New talent tree offers less gameplay variety and choices
  • -Warlock utility in dungeons is still lacking, outside of niche such as Gateway skip, and amplify curse
  • -Warlock class tree rework is somewhat more restrictive post rework


  • 19 Jul. 2024: Updated for The War Within pre-patch.
  • 19 Jun. 2024: Page Created.
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